We’re going to name the BEST State Psychological Association in America

Who will take home top honors as AMERICA's BEST in this new, annual ranking?

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Each year we’re going to name a #1 Psych Association: The preliminary standings for the Psychology.news Best State Psychological Association in America award will be announced each year on the same weekend as the State Leadership Conference; the final winners will be announced each November. This blog post announces the preliminary standings below:

Whichever state association has recruited the largest percentage of licensed psychologists in their state to be members is the winner (with a twist based on how the data is calculated; this is explained below).

This is a rank order list with the highest percentage being “the best.” The higher the percentage the better the psychological association or so the assumption goes– of course there are other factors involved and one metric like this doesn’t mean one psychological association is necessarily better than the other. Feel free to send all kudos and complaints to toddfinnerty@toddfinnerty.com… but hey, if you’re going to measure something why not give out prizes? Later in this post you’ll see how the race for the first annual Psychology.news Best State Psychological Association in America is currently shaping up.

Now for some apologies: right now I’m only considering State Psychological Associations from the 50 states (and Washington, DC because I like your license plate). This was to keep the contest a little bit apples to apples and under control, but I reserve the right to change my mind and let other associations in at any time (provinces, territories, etc.). I also know that not all the psychologists who are licensed in your state live in your state and there are some issues with the numbers (though in fairness some state psychological associations have out of state members too). While out of state licensees might potentially negatively impact recruiting, I have also decided to use your entire membership for the calculations and not just licensed psychologists– therefore if you have student members they count as a real person in your membership totals for the percentage used here– even though they aren’t a licensed psychologist. Therefore people should be careful about using our numbers to firmly conclude that X percentage of licensed psychologists in a given state are members of their association because the numbers will be slightly off because I’ve decided to recognize all members. If you want to game the scores for this contest by letting all students in your state have free membership in your association I have no problems with that because it will help those students. The point of this contest is more important than parsing out which members are licensed and which members aren’t.

Again, these are preliminary findings and the numbers could keep changing until November, 2016. If one of the lower-placed psychological associations goes on a tear and recruits like crazy this year and then emails those numbers to toddfinnerty@toddfinnerty.com or calls me on my cell (330)495-8809 then you get to move up the list; others who were not as effective as you at recruiting would then of course have to move down the list. I’ll periodically keep updating this post like a Leaderboard until November, 2016. So don’t fret psychological associations, you can still recruit members for the chance to be named the first ever Psychology.news Best State Psychological Association in America.

Remember: This list isn’t final yet. I’ll emphasize this fact by noting that the currently last place psychological association on the list, Montana, could become the first place psychological association in a matter of minutes (I’ve only stuck them in last place right now due to the collection of mine and others’ fickle whims– for more details see the notes for the state below). Each state has notes related to it below, if a state on the list has an asterix next to it that means it is particularly relevant to read the note for that state. It is a fluid list and will be in motion until November, 2016. NO ONE HAS WON ANYTHING YET, the competition is still going on. This post is more like an announcement that a competition now exists and it will be awarded each year.

Competition? Dr. Finnerty what are you talking about? You want State Psychological Associations to compete?

Do I want state psychological associations to compete over which one of them has recruited the largest percentage of psychologists in their state in to their state association?

Umh, hell yes I do. Compete away and if you do a great job recruiting we’ll recognize you for that– but more importantly your association will benefit from your recruiting efforts.

Is it fair? Sure there are large states and small states and the differences between them are dramatic. However, each state has the ability to compete for the top prize in their own way. Large states may have dedicated, full time staff and more resources but need to recruit more members to make a big impact on the totals. Smaller states have fewer resources but can make a big impact in their score by showing up at the doorsteps of a few potential members with boxes of donuts.


First of all, thank you to all of the State Psychological Associations who have been so cooperative in providing information so far and in particular some Executive Directors who even took time to get me data as they were preparing for SLC.  I do appreciate it.

The methods for this list are simple. I am asking state psychological associations “how many members do you have?” I’m also asking state psychology boards “how many licensed psychologists do you have?” I am then calculating a percentage estimate of how many of those licensed psychologists are members of the state psychological association. While it is true some of those actively licensed psychologists in your state don’t live in your state, remember I am also letting you increase your membership totals with members who aren’t licensed psychologists.

So take for example a hypothetical state like the Commonwealth of Finnerty. If the Commonwealth of Finnerty had 100 licensed psychologists and 50 of them were members of the Finnerty Psychological Association that would lead to a score for this contest of 50%  written 50.0000 (regardless of whether those members were licensed psychologists or not). So far none of the contestants on the list has a score higher than our hypothetical commonwealth of Finnerty example (unless per chance Montana does?).

AND Now for the PRELIMINARY STANDINGS (these are the states that I know enough to start ranking them) list last updated 3/2/2017:

  1. Wyoming (48.7394)
  2. Ohio* (47.7885)
  3. Pennsylvania (46.3089)
  4. Nevada (44.1860)
  5. Delaware (42.0650)
  6. Vermont (40.5092)
  7. Oregon (40)
  8. Maine (38)
  9. Iowa (36.0869)
  10. Arizona (35.6295)
  11. Utah (35.4362)
  12. Nebraska (35.0877)
  13. New Hampshire (33.7152)
  14. Georgia (33.1812)
  15. Texas (31.5902)
  16. Florida (28.8462)
  17. Rhode Island (25.2272)
  18. Arkansas (23.35)
  19. Massachusetts (19.9827)
  20. Minnesota (19.8947)
  21. California (19.4061)
  22. Minnesota (19)
  23. Washington (18.8096)
  24. Colorado (14.5584)
  25. South Dakota (12.8865)
  26. West Virginia (11.5873)
  27. Montana (last place*)

(additional states will be added to the list as I get more data)


Remember,  I just started data collection on 2/24/16 so this is essentially a note about what I’m still in the process of getting. If you have the data please email it to toddfinnerty@toddfinnerty.com; if there is data missing here I probably don’t have it:

ALABAMA 1121 licensed psychologists, waiting on membership #’s. If you weren’t thinking of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama       … you are now 😉

ALASKA I really want to go here some day.
ARIZONA I stopped here on my way to Mexico once, wish I could go back to visit. I enjoy Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. Currently the score is based on a non-specific estimate of “over 600” members. There are 1,684 psychologists.

ARKANSAS 591 psychologists; 138 members
CALIFORNIA 20,509 psychologists; 3,980 members;

COLORADO 3091 psychologists; waiting on member #’s
CONNECTICUT 2002 psychologists; 450 members
Delaware 523psychologists; 220 members;

District of Columbia (Washington, DC) approx 1,298 psychologists
Florida 5,200 psychologists; 1,500 members per http://www.flapsych.com/?page=JoinFPA
Georgia 2411 psychologists, based on an approx. 800 members number given over the phone but I could get better numbers

Hawaii 1,063 psychologists
Idaho 342 psychologists, 12.7 billion pounds of potatoes

(sorry, I couldn’t resist)

Iowa 690 psychologists, 249 members and my aunt Sandy

Louisiana lots of asterixes here 🙂
Maine no official board #’s yet but 219 members and a 38% supplied by the SPTA; I love Maine by the way and was in Portland last May and will probably end up there again this May.
Massachusetts 5800 psychologists, 1159 members


The Massachusetts board has a “new system” and the newest psychologists aren’t represented so it would be anywhere from 5,800 to 6,000 psychologists the lowest end of the estimate was used
Michigan I have lived in Ohio long enough to know that Michigan has no chance of winning any contest run by an Ohioan, not even if Jared begs 😉 There are 3,112 psychologists
Minnesota  reported being at 19.

around 3,800 psychologists; 756 members
Mississippi I enjoyed the time I spent with the Red Cross in towns around Gulfport, MS after Hurricane Katrina.
Missouri Full disclosure, I did my doctorate at Forest Institute in Springfield and I still love the St. Louis Blues and watch them on the center ice package every chance I get. Zero Stanley Cups 🙁 but 1,784 actively licensed psychologists.
Montana: Is Montana in last place or first place? Are they the best association or the worst association? The ED of the Montana State Psychological Association refused to provide me with their membership numbers. The Montana State Board says there are 222 licensed psychologists in Montana. I could call all 222 personally since the list is public information, but the available records for the MPAMEMBERS email list which is designed “To facilitate communication among members of the Montana Psychological Assoc.” shows that it has 115 subscribers. If I were to estimate that the Montana Psychological Association had 115 members based on this subscriber tally then they would currently be in first place on this list, not last place– interesting plot twist, eh? They are currently last but with one email they might be first.

Per Marti L. Wangen, CAE, the ED of Montana however: Montana is anticipating a very difficult legislative session next year regarding psychological assessments. We are respectfully requesting that like a directory where you can “opt out” of having your information published, we do not consent to our information being published. 

I guess that means they’ll have to be the last place psychological association on the list  instead of currently being the frontrunner for Best Psychological Association in America.

P.S. I met some awesome psychologists from Montana at SLC last year. If I could I’d tell them that my trip to Bozeman, MT last Spring to visit the Museum of the Rockies was awesome (and of course in to Wyoming to see Yellowstone which was also awesome). Awesome. I hope Montana psychologists get a chance to compete for the Best Psychological Association honor.

Nebraska 513 psychologists, 180 members;

Nevada 473 psychologists; 209 members at least 84 Elvis impersonators
New Hampshire Live free or die. 611 psychologists, 206 members

New Jersey 3,649 psychologists
New Mexico 243 members
New York Full disclosure, this is the state I was born and raised in and spent all of my life in until moving to Missouri for my doctorate. 13,596 psychologists in the state. Like wine? Seneca County in the Finger Lakes has zero psychologists. Read this post and then you can read this post for some back story on that.
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio See the note for Montana. Full disclosure, this is the state I live in. OH! IO! 3,821 psychologists if you include me, 1826 members as of 12/31/15 including me (but the ED says there are more now).

Oklahoma 615 psychologists
Oregon 1886 psychologists
Pennsylvania my wife is from outside Pittsburgh and we visit my in-laws there multiple times per year.

approx. 6150 psychologists and members 2848

Rhode Island 880 psychologists, 222 members,

South Carolina
South Dakota 194 psychologists, 25 members but usually there is 30 (renewals still coming in)

Tennessee “the total numbers of active, retired and failure to renew licensees for all professions regulated by the Board of Examiners in Psychology:
As of 09/12/2016
Psychologists PE/SPE CPA
Active Licensees – 1397 Active Licensees – 423 Certified – 46”


(everything gets to be bigger in Texas) There are approx. 4666 psychologists, 1474 members

Utah approx. 745 psychologists, 264 members

Vermont approx. 432 psychologists, 175 members,

Virginia 4141 psychologists
Washington (the state of course) 2621 psychologists, 493 members.

From the Examining Board of Psychology meeting minutes of November 20, 2016 the stats reported from Credentialing, Active – 2,621 psychologists in WA.   There was a slight increase from the January 29, 2016 board meeting but those minutes have not been approved by the board. The next EBOP meeting is scheduled March 25, 2016 and I will be able to share those updated numbers with you once it is approved.

West Virginia 630 psychologists, 73 members,

Wyoming my wife and I took our daughter to Yellowstone NP in the Spring of 2015.

“We have 238 active psychologists licensed in Wyoming, 3 certified psychological practitioners, and 9 certified specialists in school psychology” per the board;there are 116 members.







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Todd Finnerty, Psy.D.